London’s Ratha Yatra Echoes Olympic Spirit
London’s 'Ratha-yatra’ Festival of Chariots returns to the streets of the British capital on Sunday 17th June 2012. The spirit of the Olympics–known for uniting nations will be echoed at this ancient festival. Festival-goers representing every continent of the world will come together to celebrate the spiritual unity that joins all nations. London will be illuminated by the wonderful colours and sounds of the annual Hare Krishna festival, a vibrant celebration of culture and spirituality in the city.
Thousands of revellers, pilgrims, and faith leaders from all over the world will hand-pull the three 40-foot high colourful chariots. These chariots carry the sacred deities of Lord Jagannath, Lady Subhadra and Lord Balarama from Hyde Park to Trafalgar Square. The giant chariots will be accompanied by a procession of singers, musicians, and dancers. London will pulsate to spiritual sounds with instruments from across the globe.
At Trafalgar Square, where the procession concludes, the whole family can enjoy cultural and educational displays and exhibitions, revealing the spiritual heart of ancient India. Revellers can participate in lively workshops, sample traditional Indian music, food, and literature, or try sari-draping and face-painting. From the stage, festival-goers will betreated to traditional Odissi temple dance, contemporary philosophical dramas, and energising mantra chants. In addition to all this, a free sumptuous Indian vegetarian cuisine will add to a special family outing.